The best picture books for spreading love on Valentine’s Day

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a New York Times Bestselling author of more than twenty children’s picture books and chapter books as well as a mom to two young kids. Nothing fills me with more joy than reading to children and witnessing how a story can open up their hearts and minds. And Valentine’s Day is a holiday that brings me extra joy because it’s all about spreading love and friendship. I love Valentine’s Day so much that I’ve written two picture books about it!


I wrote...

Book cover of The Littlest Valentine

What is my book about?

Emma may be the littlest in the Valentine family, but she knows that she has what it takes to help the family business get ready for the holiday. But Emma just can't seem to do things the right way like the bigger members of her family, no matter how hard she tries. When Emma finds a lost puppy, who is little just like she is, she discovers a heartwarming way to make Valentine’s Day an even bigger success. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Love Monster and the Last Chocolate

Brandi Dougherty Why did I love this book?

My kids never get tired of hearing this story! Love Monster is an adorable hero who faces a bit of a struggle when he discovers a box of chocolates waiting on his doorstep. At first, he wants to keep the yummy treats all to himself. But then his heart gets this squeezy feeling and he decides to share them with his friends. Little does he know, but Love Monster’s friends have a surprise waiting for him! This story is a great lesson in not jumping to conclusions, and in keeping your heart open. 

By Rachel Bright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love Monster and the Last Chocolate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A deliciously funny story featuring Love Monster, who now appears in his own animated television show on CBeebies!

When Love Monster finds a mystery box of chocolates at his door, he can't believe his luck. But he's soon thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil. Should he keep the chocolates for himself? Or risk the perils of sharing his good fortune with his friends?

This super-funny-rumbly-tummy-sherbert-explosion of a story shows that when faced with the selection box of life, following your heart will bring you the best treats of all.


Book cover of Here Comes Valentine Cat

Brandi Dougherty Why did I love this book?

This is a great story about keeping your heart open and not making snap judgments. Cat does not like Valentine’s Day and has no interest in celebrating it. He especially does not want to celebrate with his new neighbor, Dog. After all, Dog has been throwing things over the fence at Cat! How rude. But just went Cat decides to tell Dog exactly what he thinks, Cat gets an unexpected surprise—and maybe even a new friend too! This is such a funny and sweet story full of humor and heart.  

By Deborah Underwood, Claudia Rueda (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Here Comes Valentine Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cat does NOT like Valentine's Day. It's much too mushy, and no way is he making a valentine for anyone- especially not his new neighbour, Dog. Dog refuses to respect the fence: he keeps tossing over old bones and a hitting Cat in the head! But just as Cat's about to send Dog an angry "valentine" telling him exactly what he can do with his bones, Dog throws a ball over the fence. What is Dog playing at? Cat is in for a hilarious - and heartwarming - surprise in this story about being perhaps too quick to judge.


Book cover of I Love You More Than Ice Cream

Brandi Dougherty Why did I love this book?

For me, this book works wonders as a sweet Valentine to my kids and a bedtime book we reach for over and over again. The bold and bright illustrations are super fun, and the rhyming text is silly and unexpected. In this story, a young girl details her bedtime routine with all the members of her familyincluding her dogas they say how much they love each other. This fun story always prompts my kids and I to come up with our own “I love you more than” comparisons, too. 

By Becky Davies, Lala Watkins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Love You More Than Ice Cream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

In this funny bedtime book, celebrate the love between a child and her family as she is tucked in each night with smiles, hugs—and plenty of humorous comparisons to unicorns, chocolate, doughnuts, and dinosaurs!

It’s time for bed, but this lucky young girl has a very special and different way to do it every night! Mommy tucks her in and says she loves her more than unicorns, chocolate fountains, doughnuts, and Ferris wheels shaped like pizzas. Grandpa loves her more than friendly aliens, and the little girl loves her grandpa more than dinosaurs in ballroom gowns on Mars. And Daddy…


Book cover of Porcupine Cupid

Brandi Dougherty Why did I love this book?

Porcupine’s clueless optimism and the adorably expressive illustrations by Lori Richmond are what draw me into this fun book. Porcupine is excited to make some love matches on Valentine’s Day by using his quills like cupid’s arrows. But what he doesn’t realize is that his pokes are making everybody mad instead! With a forest full of angry animals on his hands, Porcupine calls a meeting that ends up bringing the friends together with love after all. And even Porcupine gets a Valentine of his own. 

By Jason June, Lori Richmond (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Porcupine Cupid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A porcupine hatches a prickly plan to bring his animal friends together on Valentine's Day in this humorous, heartwarming tale where everyone gets a happily ever after.

Love is in the air this Valentine's Day-or it will be if Porcupine has any say. He uses his quills like Cupid's arrows, hoping to bring the sweet and sentimental spirit of the holiday to all his forest friends. But with every poke! that Porcupine gives, he gets a hey!, ouch!, or yowser! in return.

It seems Porcupine's mission isn't turning out quite like he planned, but with some quick thinking he might…


Book cover of The Day It Rained Hearts

Brandi Dougherty Why did I love this book?

This book has so much quiet, creative sweetness in it, and I just love the theme of using what you find to make something special. Cornelia Augusta discovers that it’s raining hearts one day, so she gathers them up. As she examines each heart, she sees how unique they areand she decides to make Valentines with them to send to her animal friends. This book is also a perfect way to jump-start craft time for making Valentine’s Day cards. 

By Felicia Bond,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Day It Rained Hearts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A creative and sweet story, perfect for Valentine's Day, that helps open the hearts of young readers. From the beloved illustrator of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

One day it rains hearts, and Cornelia Augusta catches them. She realizes that the hearts are perfect for making valentines. Each heart is special in its own way, and Cornelia Augusta knows exactly who to send them to: her animal friends.

A fun way to spark creativity and thoughtfulness! The perfect book to pair with Valentine's Day crafts.


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Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

By Patrick G. Cox, Janet Angelo (editor),

Book cover of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Ned Farrier Master Mariner: Call of the Cape

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

On the expertise I claim only a deep interest in history, leadership, and social history. After some thirty-six years in the fire and emergency services I can, I think, claim to have seen the best and the worst of human behaviour and condition. History, particularly naval history, has always been one of my interests and the Battle of Jutland is a truly fascinating study in the importance of communication between the leader and every level between him/her and the people performing whatever task is required.  In my own career, on a very much smaller scale, this is a lesson every officer learns very quickly.

Patrick's book list on the Battle of Jutland

What is my book about?

Captain Heron finds himself embroiled in a conflict that threatens to bring down the world order he is sworn to defend when a secretive Consortium seeks to undermine the World Treaty Organisation and the democracies it represents as he oversees the building and commissioning of a new starship.

When the Consortium employs an assassin from the Pantheon, it becomes personal.

Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

By Patrick G. Cox, Janet Angelo (editor),

What is this book about?

The year is 2202, and the recently widowed Captain James Heron is appointed to stand by his next command, the starship NECS Vanguard, while she is being built. He and his team soon discover that they are battling the Consortium, a shadowy corporate group that seeks to steal the specs for the ship’s new super weapon. The Consortium hires the Pantheon, a mysterious espionage agency, to do their dirty work as they lay plans to take down the Fleet and gain supreme power on an intergalactic scale. When Pantheon Agent Bast and her team kidnap Felicity Rowanberg, a Fleet agent…


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Interested in Valentine's Day, dogs, and chocolate?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Valentine's Day, dogs, and chocolate.

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